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Believing (信) in Song China: Evidence from theLongshu jingtu wen (龍舒淨文)and Other Sources

Robert Hymes- Professor of Chinese History, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University


The position of the field of Chinese religion on the notion of "belief" seems to me unclear or unsettled. Both Talal Asad's work and the "orthodoxy/orthopraxy" debate growing out of James Watson's proposal have, I think, left at least part of the field inclined to the position that "belief" and "believing" are not central to Chinese religion, or even that there is a sort of "West = belief" /  "China = practice" dichotomy. Ongoing work on a translation of the  Longshu jingtu wen  has brought me back to the question of "believing" (xin 信) in the Song dynasty, and I will offer what I hope is an empirical approach to the question based on that work and other sources.

Thursday, November 01, 2012 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm RSVP
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies